Servants in thought is a science fiction Novella I began writing as part of NaNoWriMo 2008. It is a story in three arcs, following three different characters.
I tend to use very short, chapter like passages, which often chop and change to different characters. What follows is the first section, the prologue, if you like, in which my first character, a nameless diary writer, introduces himself.
Bear in mind this was written to a really tight deadline. =P
(Also, is Futility a word?)
Servants in Thought
“We are becoming servants in thought, as in action,
of the machine we have created to serve us”
- John Kenneth Galbraith
Dec 12th 2041
There are many things that can drive a man mad, the loss of a loved one or the thought of the possible futility of existence, but I believe I have discovered the surest, most soul destroying way of doing so. To make that man totally alone, devoid of any loving attention, lost among his own thoughts, in a world that no longer needs him.
This has happened to me, as I sit here writing what’s left of my life down for nobody to ever read in this forgotten place. I have gone completely and utterly mad.
Now you may have heard people say that if you think you are crazy you probably aren’t, and that the true mad men are those who believe themselves completely sane. However, my madness came over me in such a brutal wave, that its unstoppable force sent me crashing down into insanity faster than you can possibly imagine, and this sort of descent into the darkest areas of one’s mind is hard to ignore.
Let me tell you how this came about. A year ago I was king of this city, I ruled with an iron fist and a fierce nature that commanded the respect of my subjects. I sat high upon my golden throne, crown upon my head, looked out over my kingdom and laughed, happy at the universal feeling of power that being king gave me.
The world around me absorbed my absolution, cried out to me for salvation, and implored me to give meaning to their worthless lives. I was merciful; I came forth and raised my arm upon high and said “Yes my subjects! This kingdom can be whole again!” and they cheered, and whooped and laughed and I was as a god to them.
I stood in the Earls court. I was the Friar in black, the Angel of Islington. I was the centre of the universe.
Months past and my power began to dwindle, the world around me worked, kept on working. The trains all ran on time, the clocks all ticked at the same moment, and read the same thing precisely and the glistening arrays of fairy lights adorning every street corner never once went out.
It was during this time that my subjects began to abandon me, one by one, until eventually I had none left. The Ghost-Men of Harrods had turned away their heads; the high stone visage with his guardian lions looked up to the sky from his pedestal, instead of down towards myself. Churchill, Lloyd George and Mandela all had eyes for each other but never for me. Even the beautiful Patricians daughter had forgotten I existed. That was what really broke my heart.
Today I sit alone in this hovel I call home, collecting dust and dirt, as forgotten and broken as the figure that dwells in it. A mad man.
How do I know for sure that I am mad? Because two years ago, every single living creature in the city of London vanished overnight, and it has taken me this long to notice that anything is wrong.